Life is for Living

Faith, Family, Friendship; Love, Laughter, Life


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A Good Name: more desirable than great riches!

 

“A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”
Proverbs 22:1 (NIV)

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Unfortunately this is not a signpost directing you to where I actually live, but it was fun to see an actual sign with my name (and land!) while on a leisurely evening drive.

But what do my first names mean? Gale is of Hebrew origin and means ‘joy’ while Elizabeth, also of Hebrew origin, means ‘oath of God’. Thanks dad for giving me simple, easy-to-pronounce and easy-to-spell names that truly represent!

The only time I’ve really seriously thought about my name though was when I got married and changed my surname to that of my husband’s. Yes, there was lots of discussion because I wanted to keep my name but hubbie wasn’t too thrilled so I gave in.  Then when I became divorced I struggled with a decision: go back to my maiden name or keep a name that was technically no longer mine. I kept it, not only to cement the bond with my son but because I knew I wasn’t that young naive girl anymore; I had survived loss of a job, loss of a parent and loss of a marriage … and there was no turning back. As my coworkers can confirm: I am now 50 Shades of Gale – see my birthday cake from 2015 as proof 🙂

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I think names carry a special weight or significance and in molding Nathan – a Hebrew name meaning ‘gift’ – as my one and only son/heir to adulthood, it’s been important to reinforce that in life it’s not about wealth or education or fame, but more about your name/reputation. Do you agree? And what do you think about your name? Have you had to think long and hard when naming your children? What about naming a pet or even your home or boat? Leave me a comment; can’t wait to read your story ♦

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“I call everyone ‘Darling’ because I can’t remember their names.”
~ Zsa Zsa Gabor

“The real names of our people were destroyed during slavery. The last name of my forefathers was taken from them when they were brought to America and made slaves, and then the name of the slave master was given, which we refuse, we reject that name today and refuse it. I never acknowledge it whatsoever.”
~ Malcolm X

For more fun WPC ‘name’ posts click here -> NAMES

 

 


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Are you rich or poor?

 

Photo by Gale E

Photo by Gale E

“You aren’t wealthy until you have something money can’t buy.”
~ Garth Brooks
 {Tweet quote}

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Definitely an interesting quote and something to think about as we move around in a world which focuses a lot on financial wealth. But just how wealthy are you? Do you even know? Leave a comment while considering:

  • Do you agree with Garth on this one?
  • Do you consider yourself wealthy?
  • What do you have that’s really valuable that money cannot buy?
  • Do you share your wealth with others? And if yes, how?
  • Is this a thought you would share with others, maybe especially your children?

“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
1 Timothy 6:17-19 KJV

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Just Do It!

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“See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)

“Develop resilience and be brave. There are days when it is very discouraging. You have to develop personal resilience to environmental things that come along. If you let every single environmental challenge knock you off your game, it’s going to be very, very hard.” ~ Renee James

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I wasn’t sure what I should say as we start out on the path of 2017 and as you can see, this note is way too delayed in terms of being a Happy New Year message. So after a bit of thinking I decided to share something personal which meant a lot to me in terms of not only achievement but commitment to myself as much as I commit to others without a second thought.

During 2016 I had to quit the gym (some activities have to become things of the past when you have a child studying overseas at university) and watched in dismay as the pounds crept on to my body. I was not a happy camper and decided (finally) to get back into running as my main form of exercise.

To be honest, some days I felt like giving up. Getting out of bed very early every morning in the dark was not cutting it. Jogging after work late in the evening – again, in the dark – was also not cutting it.  Yet on other days I couldn’t wait to run twice a day. Go figure.

But I persisted, running as often and as much as I could. Then I fell. Hard. On my back. It was painful to say the least. I had to give up running for a while. I don’t know which hurt most, my body or not being able to get out on the road but I knew that if I didn’t take the time to rest properly my injuries would take even longer to heal.  In the meantime I continued to eat properly and kept up with my diet of steamed fish, steamed vegetables (cooked with love) and loads of salad.

lunch

salad

The human body is amazingly resilient, even when it is an older version with spare parts which can stop working at a moments notice. And so, in December of 2016, I ran and finished my first 5K in I don’t know how many years … and boy did it feel good to cross that finish line standing (as opposed to crawling)!

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Now it’s on to a new year with even bigger goals and hopefully greater achievements. I have only run twice so far for the year but just as my body is resilient so will be my resolve to continue on this healthy lifestyle path.

I am a runner

4 Jan 2017 Run aka go me!

 

In reality, all we humans can do is to put one foot in front of the other day by day as we step out in faith, not only reaching towards our own dreams while remembering to help others along the way. God promises to do a new thing in us, not only in January but every single day and every single month; all we have to do is remain open to His wonderful gifts because they will come.

So what are your goals? What would you really like to achieve over the next 12 months? How much work are you willing to put in to ensure your dreams become a reality? What support do you need? How can I help??? Leave a note in the comments as we get this year off to a great start and may 2017 be even more amazing than you can ever hope it to be aka Just Do It!

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“Indeed, this life is a test. It is a test of many things – of our convictions and priorities, our faith and our faithfulness, our patience and our resilience, and in the end, our ultimate desires.” ~ Sheri L. Dew

“It’s one thing to show your love for someone when everything is going fine and life is smooth. But when the ‘in sickness and in health’ part kicks in and sickness does enter your lives, you’re tested. Your resilience is tested.” ~ Patti Davis

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How secure are you?

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“LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance”
Ps 16:5-6 (NIV)

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Many of us have started out the year with a heavy burden which weighs great upon our bodies. It could be the loss of a job, loss of a loved one, a ‘wayward stubborn’ child, a terminal illness diagnosis, a divorce. Then there’s the back-stabbing which can happen whether we are at home, at work or even at church. On top of all that’s going on in our lives there can also be the struggle to make ends meet, to find time for ourselves, to donate our time and energy towards positively making someone else’s life meaningful.  The stress of daily living can be overwhelming, and as I maintain: the struggle is real.

However, God knows the path better than we do. He can see way up ahead whereas we only see the part where we are stuck in the rut. Our Father is aware of the downsizing, laying off, divorce, death, illness – it doesn’t matter; He is totally aware of our portion and our cup but yet, He has made our lot secure.  Furthermore, we are told in Deuteronomy:

“You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. “
Deuteronomy 28:6-8 (NIV)

Is that a promise or is that a promise? I say it’s an amazing awesome promise i.e. let all the people say amen! So what’s the word for this week? It’s SECURE. Can we be secure in the knowledge that God loves us right where we are just as we are? Can we be secure in the fact that come what may, He will always be with us? Yes.We.Can.

Just a little something to reflect on as we move out into the year ahead aka Happy Happy Monday.

 

I love Mondays

 


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Are You Humming?

Lately I find myself searching for life answers. Why? Because it’s around this time at the close of one year and on the cusp of another that I truly wonder if anything I did over the last 12 months was meaningful in any way.

Questions collide within my brain as I look for the answers to things like:

  • Did I complete any of my goals?  If not, what stood in my way?
  • Did any of my dreams become a reality?
  • Did I encourage or support others selflessly?
  • Was I a good parent, daughter, sister, writer, friend?
  • Am I in a better place mentally, physically and spiritually now than when compared to this same time the year before?
  • What situations made me really happy or excited vs. really sad or disappointed or frustrated?
  • Was my glass half full or half empty? Did I even have a glass?!!

Maybe I am the only one who goes through this phase year after year, but as I start to wave goodbye to 2016 I came across a TED TALK by a woman I totally admire for her creativity: the one and only Shonda Rhimes, American television producer, screenwriter and author. Wikipedia states: “In 2007, Rhimes was named one of Time magazine’s 100 People Who Help Shape The World, and in 2015, she published a memoir, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person.

If you have ever watched any of her shows i.e. Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, Private Practice or The Catch you will agree that Shonda’s writing is off the wall (if not a little risqué for the more conservative among us). Suspense and unexpected episode endings abound, profound life truths are highlighted and dissected, and every Thursday morning someone somewhere shouts out to a fellow Gladiator: TGIT!

To say that Shonda works hard would be an understatement. How in the world does she find time to do it all while raising a young family? But listen to what she tells us about her life and her ‘hum’, how she lost it and how she got it back. Then ask yourself as I am doing about your own hum – do you have one, do you know what it looks like, are you feeding it or starving it?

A brand new year is right around the corner and it looks as though I may need to do some serious work on my hum before moving ahead.  For starters however, I am anticipating my participation in Shonda’s Writing for Television MasterClass due to commence in the Spring of 2017. I am signed up and so excited, aka one very small part of my much bigger picture!

To close out this thought let’s remember how short life can be. It’s all we have and being on the right path is so very important! So will you support me on this quest, just as I will support you on yours? In the meantime, I am thinking we should go out and start a movement filled with lots of positive humming noises … it can be done 🙂

Happy Holidays to all and may the hum of your new year be even more than you can ever wish it to be.


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No Worries

The days were tight with meetings and workshops. The stress of packing, travelling, unpacking and facilitating back-to-back sessions added up to one super big knot of tension which ran from the base of my neck right down into my spine.

And then, unexpectedly a gift of a few free moments just before leaving Grand Cayman to take a relaxing walk on the beach early in the morning. It was great to feel the pressure flowing out of my body as I inhaled the crisp clean air and enjoyed the gentle playful waves caressing my ankles as they whispered: “no worries!”

calm seas in grand cayman

 

How do you like to relax? Do you prefer to be alone or in the company of others? If you have young children can you even relax at all? Leave me a comment 🙂